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Question Is it possible to damage RAM by improperly installing CPU or heatsink?

BejoBarokah

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Sep 8, 2020
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anything is possible.
what did you do exactly?
Honestly idk. But my PC won't boot but my fans were spinning. The CPU and RAM light on Motherboard was shining. After trying a few things, only when i take out the motherboard out of the case and check the CPU i noticed the one of the CPU cooler screw wasn't installed properly. After i reinstalled the cooler properly, the PC boot successfully but i can't install OS, with some error code indicating memory issue.

After i take out 1 of the RAM, only then i can successfully install the OS. So i'm quite sure the RAM is damaged. The RAM is brand new though, so either i damaged it somehow or i get faulty RAM from the start.

For my spec :
Ryzen 5 3600 with stock cooler
2x8GB T-Force Delta RGB
Asrock B550M Pro4
RX 580
Seasonic GX 550
Tecware Nexus Evo case
 
Run memtest86 or memtest86+
They boot from a usb stick and do not use windows.
You can download them here:
If you can run a full pass with NO errors, your ram should be ok.

Running several more passes will sometimes uncover an issue, but it takes more time.
Probably not worth it unless you really suspect a ram issue.
 

TommyTwoTone66

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Apr 24, 2021
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I can imagine a way you could damage one of the sensitive surface mounted components on a stick of RAM while installing a CPU cooler and making a mistake, yes. It does sound like you have damaged it.
 

BejoBarokah

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Sep 8, 2020
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Run memtest86 or memtest86+
They boot from a usb stick and do not use windows.
You can download them here:
If you can run a full pass with NO errors, your ram should be ok.

Running several more passes will sometimes uncover an issue, but it takes more time.
Probably not worth it unless you really suspect a ram issue.
with both RAM installed, the test freeze in the middle while with only the working one everything seems fine.
 

BejoBarokah

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Sep 8, 2020
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I can imagine a way you could damage one of the sensitive surface mounted components on a stick of RAM while installing a CPU cooler and making a mistake, yes. It does sound like you have damaged it.
Can i ask you if you have any idea how i somehow damaged it? I'm still not that experienced in PC building so i'm trying to avoid the same problem in the future. Thanks
 
It is unlikely that you could do anything to damage ram when installing a cpu cooler.
If the process involved removing the cpu from the socket, possibly some pins were damaged and can give you the symptoms you are having.

Some questions:
Is this a new build?
Has it all worked together before?
What is the make/model of the ram? Are both sticks from the same matched kit?
Two identical separate part numbers will not be matched.
What is the bios level of your motherboard?
CPU-Z will tell you.
Sometimes there are bios updates that will address ram compatibility issues.
Is your ram(kit) explicitly supported on your motherboard/cpu combo?

If it is a single kit, ram will have a lifetime warranty and will be replaced if defective.
Separate sticks, and you are on your own.
 

BejoBarokah

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Sep 8, 2020
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It is unlikely that you could do anything to damage ram when installing a cpu cooler.
If the process involved removing the cpu from the socket, possibly some pins were damaged and can give you the symptoms you are having.

Some questions:
Is this a new build?
Has it all worked together before?
What is the make/model of the ram? Are both sticks from the same matched kit?
Two identical separate part numbers will not be matched.
What is the bios level of your motherboard?
CPU-Z will tell you.
Sometimes there are bios updates that will address ram compatibility issues.
Is your ram(kit) explicitly supported on your motherboard/cpu combo?

If it is a single kit, ram will have a lifetime warranty and will be replaced if defective.
Separate sticks, and you are on your own.
Is this a new build?
Yes
Has it all worked together before?
Yes, by loading the OS via USB stick. Although even after founding out that the RAM is somehow problematic, i also can boot via USB. Also, when the RAM usage pass around certain amount (8GB), the whole thing freezes. So it was possible that things were like that even before i found out the RAM problematic.
What is the make/model of the ram? Are both sticks from the same matched kit?
T-Force Delta RGB 2x8GB kit. So yes, matched.
What is the bios level of your motherboard?
If you mean version, it's 1.20
Is your ram(kit) explicitly supported on your motherboard/cpu combo?
No

In addition, i installed the CPU cooler first then the RAM. I just wondering if it's possible by installing the CPU cooler improperly beforehand, it might damage the RAM when you install it afterward or i simply get a defective RAM.

Thanks
 

BejoBarokah

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Sep 8, 2020
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You could also have the CPU screwed in too tightly. The heatsink should be firm against the CPU, but the whole thing shouldn't be screwed in as tight as you can possibly manage.
I'm not quite sure, because it's only when i install 1 specific RAM from the kit that all sort of problem start to appear too. The other RAM won't give me any problem,

Also when both installed, if i boot using USB stick, when the RAM usage exceed around 8 GB, the whole PC freezes. So i suspect when the OS start using the problematic RAM, the OS started to freeze.

The OS i meant is Linux Mint
 

BejoBarokah

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Sep 8, 2020
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Welp, i'm quite certain that the RAM is not normal. Although i still don't know whether it's possible if the improperly installed cooler is the cause.
 

TommyTwoTone66

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Apr 24, 2021
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Can i ask you if you have any idea how i somehow damaged it? I'm still not that experienced in PC building so i'm trying to avoid the same problem in the future. Thanks
So for example, you may have had the cooler in your hand, trying to align it over the CPU, and you accidentally brushed one of the memory modules with one of the fins of the cooler, at such an angle that it just caught on a surface mounted resistor and pinged it off.

Or maybe a sharp corner of the cooler scraped along the PCB of a memory module and cut one of the tracks.

Any number of mishaps are possible really.
 

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